Nuclear's limitations

I think we have to be honest about nuclear's limitations.

Namely that:

1) nuclear plants are uninsurable*

2) accidents happen

3) decomissioning & waste disposal costs are huge (£90 billion on existing UK plants according to Gordon Brown).

4) plants in the UK inevitably serve a military dual use (we see this in DU munitions, Trident etc)

5) nuclear's main output (electricity) will not fuel the cars, planes, trucks, trains and household boilers we have today.

6) nuclear output represented a modest 9% of the domestic energy the UK produced in 2003 (this 9% nuclear was used to provide for 22% of electricity demand according to EU statistics).

7) Renewable energy and efficiency savings could doubtless substitute the heat and light energy currently supplied by nuclear power. The problem with renewables is not intermitent waves, wind, sun, rivers etc. The problem is renewables do not as yet allow a country to project and maintain power internationally.

Ends | 8 Aug 2005 | The Leg

* 'Uninsurable' in the sense that nuclear reactor meltdown can result in irreparable damage to very large numbers of people. Consider the impact on Belarus of Chernobyl - a nuclear incident believed to have affected 7 million people.

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